The one who started it all, TopStep is the original “combine™” company. Inspired by the founder having experienced a prop (“Proprietary”) trading firm who would allow hopeful traders to come trade with a small account for a $500 fee, and if they could succeed within certain strict parameters, then they would be given a chance at trading something larger. There were so many of these “dreamers” that Michael Patak decided to make an entire business on the idea, and TopStep Trader was born!
There have been changes to the TopStep withdrawal process that require a minimum number of profitable trading days between withdrawals and restrict traders to withdrawing 50% of their profits at any time in order to ensure a balance remains in the funded account.
TopStep has no minimum trading days required and while they do require you to adhere to a consistency rule of no one day being more than 30% of your profits in order to pass, there is nothing else preventing you from passing the evaluation in as little as 4 days.
Once funded, the trader is placed into a “live sim” trading account. If you trade that account well consistently, you may be invited to trade in a cash account instead, with corresponding CME Professional market data fees. We’ve had the experience of the cash-account funded set-up process taking several weeks, presumably to get the most value from the non-prorated CME fees. TopStep are also known for imposing no-trading blackout periods or size restrictions on funded traders during holiday seasons or increased volatility.
Traders can request a withdrawal after five profitable trading days. The withdrawal is limited to 50% of the account balance. Subsequent withdrawals also require a minimum number of profitable days and are again capped at 50% of the account balance.
After passing the evaluation, there is a one-time $149 fee, regardless of account size. As funded traders are placed into a cash-funded trading account, corresponding CME Professional market data fees will also apply.
TopStep base their evaluations on the Rithmic Paper Trading Server so any Rithmic-capable platform can be used.
TopStep has only one rule that will terminate the evaluation – losing more than the maximum available drawdown. They also have a consistency rule and a Daily Loss Limit rule that you must follow, but violating these will not end the account. Breaking the Daily Loss Limit however will lock the account from trading for the remainder of that day.
TopStep is very professional, with typically fast support responses and streamlined payout requests/withdrawals via Deel.com.
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